Bread gets some bad press.
A growing awareness of food intolerances means that sandwiches are definitely out of style as working professionals choose trendier lunches. Although the UK is a bit behind the US, gluten-free options are now available everywhere and sales of sliced bread are down 12% as compared to a few years ago.
But in the Bible, bread is a wonderful thing. It is used many times in God’s Word as a picture of important truths.
Bread is very often used as a picture of provision. In Exodus, the heavenly bread called manna was God’s provision for His people in the desert. In the gospels, Jesus blessed, broke and multiplied loaves of bread to feed the hungry crowds who followed Him.
In Matthew 15.26 Jesus used bread to describe spiritual blessings, particularly supernatural physical healing.
And of course, bread is a picture of God’s ultimate provision for us, Christ, who describes Himself as the bread of life in John 6.35. Every time we take communion we are reminded that our Bread of Life was broken for us to provide salvation.
And then in the most well-known words of the Bible in Matthew 6 we see the template for prayer. Verse 11 says, ‘Give us this day our daily bread.’
The word used here for daily is a very intriguing one. ‘Epiousios’, was not a word that was used in ordinary speech and in fact, it is only found in this prayer and not used anywhere else in the Bible or in any other Greek writings. It may have even been coined by the writers of the gospels themselves which makes it arguably the most difficult word in the New Testament to translate.
Early Bible translators used context and similar Greek words to attempt to derive meaning. They settled on ‘daily‘. They believed the word had a sense of ‘just enough’ or ‘what is sufficient for today’ so that we should ask God for the basics we need to live each day, which of course we should.
However more recently, a closer look at the prefix used here gives a fuller meaning. Rather than just enough for today, the way the word has been constructed has a sense of provision that is above and beyond, bountiful, more than enough for the future.
Make no mistake, this is supernatural bread and the portions are generous.
Like the loaves that Jesus multiplied, there are always baskets of leftovers.
Each time we pray for our needs we can pray believing that the answer will be full and rich. God’s answers overflow into our tomorrow. They are abundant, not just adequate.
It is like there is exponential power in our daily prayer time with God. It builds. I am reminded of Deuteronomy 28.2 where God promises His children that the blessings of obedience will overtake them, like an avalanche of answers that they can’t outrun.
There are answers for you today. There is healing and deliverance and supply. But you can expect that these blessings will also overflow into tomorrow. There are words of direction that will propel you towards callings and ministries in the future. There are solutions to problems you don’t even know about yet. There are words of comfort that you are going to need. There is bread from the Bread of Life Himself. You will be filled up and you will receive enough to share with others.
The God we pray to is a giver. He is a good father. He gives generously out of an endless supply and He always gives enough for tomorrow.
Philippians 4.19 promises us that God supplies our needs out of the riches of Christ.
Matthew 7.11 promises His gifts are good.
Romans 8.32 says God graciously gives us all things.
Psalm 34 promises those who seek the Lord will lack no good thing.
God knows what is around the corner. He knows the challenges and struggles and disappointments and loss we may face. He knows exactly what we need today to be ready for tomorrow and we receive it when we make time to be with Him daily.
Trusting, believing hearts can choose daily bread over worry. We can be filled with every word that God speaks and never be hungry again. We can laugh at the future because even in the deepest darkest valleys, there is a table already prepared for us, and our cups and our breadbaskets are overflowing.
‘How great is the goodness you have stored up for those who fear You. You lavish it on those who come to you for protection, blessing them before the watching world.’ Psalm 31.19 NLT